Scotland’s largest landlord membership organisation has urged landlords across the country to ensure all repairs or upgrades meet required standards and are carried out by accredited professionals, whilst also calling for more to be done to enforce those standards to ensure properties are safe for tenants.
From experience, the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) knows that with the weather improving after a wet winter, the Spring season is often the time when landlords will upgrade properties or conduct non-emergency repairs that might have become needed over the winter months.
As part of a year of promotional activity encouraging the enforcement of regulations governing the Private Rented Sector (PRS), SAL has joined with SELECT, the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland, to urge landlords to ensure repairs or upgrades are carried out safely and meet all required standards.
Although margins for landlords are tightening due to tax changes and increased regulation, SAL wants to ensure members act responsibly and never sacrifice standards and safety.
At the same time, SAL believes more could be done to enforce regulations in order to further encourage responsible behaviour. They are asking enforcement authorities to work with them to do more to drive rogue players out of the market, allowing the overwhelming majority of landlords who act responsibly to continue to provide high quality accommodation across Scotland.
John Blackwood, chief executive of SAL, said: “This year, SAL is focussing on the effective enforcement of the necessary regulations which govern our sector. It is important to ensure that any work done to properties is done safely, meets proper standards and is carried out by a trained professional.
“Whether it is an urgent repair, planned maintenance or a major upgrade, it is essential that landlords ensure that they are using a company or individual who has undergone the required training and that the work meets building standards. As well as being the legal route which must be taken, this also fulfils the landlords responsibility to their tenant and protects their long-term investment in their property.
“Tenants must also take responsibility in the same way as they would if they owned the property. They should always ask landlords for information on proposed works and repairs.
“For work on services such as electrics this is particularly important as poor work can put the lives of occupants at direct risk. Landlords should ensure any such work is carried out by electricians who are members of SELECT or the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).”
Newell McGuiness, SELECT’s MD, added: “We have worked closely with SAL over the last few years to help promote the message of using properly qualified electricians to undertake work. It’s in all of our interests that electrical work is done safely and correctly by electricians who have been properly trained and keep their job knowledge and skills up-to-date.”